WRITTEN BY: Rafer Roberts

ART BY: Darick Robertson, Richard Clark, & Brian Reber

PUBLISHED BY: Valiant Comics

The past few issues of Harbinger Renegade has seen new antagonist Alexander Solomon bringing Peter Stanchek’s Renegade team together.  Why did Solomon want to draw Stanchek out from his exile and for what purpose?  For what reasons?  The payoff is finally here…let’s delve in slightly.

Last issue ended with Kris, Faith, and Peter walking right into Solomon’s stronghold.  Peter and Faith found themselves incapacitated by some high-level psiots.  As for Kris she is whisked away and sat down at a table with Solomon himself.

Is Solomon there to fight?  No.  He is there to reason.  He has a grandiose master plan and those plans involve the Renegades.  He, of course, doesn’t see himself as the bad guy… but does the bad guy truly ever think that?

As for those high-level psiots keeping Peter Stanchek down – does one actually believe there is a way to keep him down permanently?  This is Peter Stanchek we are talking about and one does not want to be in the way when he uses his full powers on you.

The issue is a wrap-up for the last couple issues for not just Alexander Solomon but for Torque (who was hospitalized) and newest tag along Jay Tucker (whose character is a much needed breath of fresh air for the book).  Does the story wrap up into a nice little bow?  Of course it doesn’t.  This is just the beginning and I can’t wait to see what Rafer Roberts has planned for the Renegade team in the future.

This series definitely has an Empire Strikes Back feel to it.  It more-or-less threw you right into story from page one of issue one.  Want to know what happened in the past?  Go buy yourself some old Harbinger comics or trades.  Rafer wasted no time – he has a story to tell and he did an amazing job making the Renegades feel like a team once again without it feeling forced.

Darick Robertson?  I’ve showered enough praise on the man but that praise doesn’t stop here.  He is an asset to the Valiant organization.  Valiant would be damn foolish to let Robertson (or Clayton Crain while we are at it) go – so please make sure he is on this title for many more issues to come.

One thing that does have me wondering is the inclusion of Charlene “Flamingo” Dupre in the list of characters in the beginning of each issue.  Flamingo died many years ago fighting Toyo Harada and each and every issue is there to point that out.  But WHY is it being pointed out?  I wonder to myself…is dead really dead in the Valiant Universe?  Why remind us of a character…unless maybe there are some sort of plans for her???  Hey…the Summer Soldier has a nice ring to it.  Autumn Soldier?

I do have a gripe.  It’s a lone gripe but it is a big one.  It’s a disappointment to report that the issue I had ended telling us that Harbinger Renegade #5 is coming……………………………..in July.   July?  Like five months from now July?  Maybe they set that date to give Robertson a breather?  Maybe there’s just too much planned at Valiant so it makes more sense to push the next issue a few months?  Maybe Valiant hates me and knows it’ll make me mad to have the next issue five months from now so they did it just to spite me?  Anything is possible.  I’ll just believe that latter because, of course, everything should be about me.

These four issues of Harbinger Renegade were an amazing read and I can’t wait to reread them all together.  It was a brilliant story that brings the Renegade team right back into the spotlight.  Why is this important?  Two reasons:  Harbinger is one of my favorite books of all time so I always want more Harbinger.  AND we do have a movie on the horizon so having a comic in stores is quite important.

Keep up the great work Valiant.  If you don’t want to wait until July I’m more than happy to get the next issue in May.